There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today than at any point during the last 650,000 years, plus Mt. Belinda errupting.
Yesterday, after Thanksgiving dinner, I watched all of David Attenborough's Life in the Freezer, and so have a pretty good visual idea of what it's like to do research in Antarctica. This morning, I woke up to this disconcerting AP story, based on the cover story from the new issue of Science magazine: Old bubbles back global warming theory. Scientists drilled core samples of Antarctic ice and analyzed the gas content of the bubbles in them.
There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today than at any point during the last 650,000 years, says a new study that let scientists peer back in time at greenhouse gases that can help fuel global warming. By analyzing tiny air bubbles preserved in Antarctic ice for millennia, a team of European researchers shows how people are dramatically influencing the buildup of these gases.
The researcher is Thomas Stocker, Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Switzerland, Co-director of the Physics Institute. Here's the press release related to he article. (The article is in the issue of Science with a cover date of today, but as of this moment, they have not yet updated their website from last week's issue.)
(See also Michael Hopkin's article in Nature, Greenhouse-gas levels highest for 650,000 years: Climate record highlights extent of man-made change.)
FURTHER TO THE SUBJECT OF ANTARTICA, NASA has a really cool picture of Mt. Belinda, near Antactica, errupting:
From NASA. Image from September 23, 2005. (NASA write up.) See yesterday's story in Nature: Fire and ice caught on camera: Volcano on Antarctic island flips its lid. On Google Earth, it just looks like a while lump. This image would make a lovely overlay. (-58.399804, -26.386895) (Here's a rough KML; image.)